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Eat with Linda: lovely experience!

Thanks to Peter and Noud for this experience.

We have tried a new culinary experience in Madeira. Recently, a new kind of eating out presented itself to us: eatwith.com.  It is a platform that opens up the possibility to have dinner with a local person. Linda Machado is Madeiran by birth and has lived here most of her life. She loves to not only tell you all about the island and mainland Portugal, but who also loves to cook traditional Portuguese dishes, or use traditional Portuguese ingredients to re-invent traditional cuisine and turn it into something very contemporary. Linda is fluent in English, French and, of course, Portuguese.

Linda is the only one in the Island of Madeira who has joined the Eatwith.com platform, but there will probably be others following in the future. We enjoyed a very cosy dinner for 6. Apart from Linda and a friend who had helped her to prepare dinner, there was another couple, so the varied company made for a lively and interesting and even instructive conversation. Linda can, and will, tell you all about the origins of the dishes she serves, and she can – and will – tell you all you want to know about the specifics of Madeira, its people and its culture.

The food itself was very good, partly traditional, and surprisingly different from what many, many restaurants in Madeira serve. For starters there was a Madeiran Gin and Tonic, made with a very special Madeiran Gin which had a light flavour of Pitangas, a delicious fruit that grows in the island. The G&T Madeiran style was accompanied by smoked ham, a special sheep cheese from the Azeitão region on the mainland, olives, toast and bread with olive oil and Balsamico vinagre, followed by a ‘papillotte’ filled with Alheira, a very special kind of sausage from the remote region of ‘Tras os Montes’(behind the Mountains, in the Northeast of Mainland Portugal) and a plum chutney.

The main course consisted of a very traditional dish of ‘Bacalhau com broa de milho’ which is cod) with a crust of corn bread crumble. A lovely dish, that takes a preparation time of at least two days. Side dishes were potatoes and sweet potatoes from the oven, and a delicious salad with figs. Finally, the meal was topped of with an upside-down Apple-lemon tart.  The meal included wine, coffee and an after dinner drink.

If you are new to Madeira, This way of dining offers the posibility to have an excellent private dinner (Linda’s table seats a maximum of 6), enjoying excellent food and getting to know a very nice and interesting lady from Madeira. Just go and try it and possibly make new friends like we did!

Enjoy!

For dates, prices and menus, go to Eat With Linda

Photos by Miguel Leitão Jardim